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Artificial lighting enables year-round dragon fruit

Nguyen Quoc Duan is General Direct at Vietnamese dragon fruit growing and export company Song Nam ITD Co., Ltd.. The company is based in Ho Chi Min City, with its farms in Vietnam's Binh Thuan region. Binh Thuan is famous for the production of dragon fruit, with over 50,000 hectares of dragon fruit farms.

Nguyen Quoc Duan at the company's dragon fruit orchard

Total dragon fruit production is growing in Vietnam. Mr Duan comments about the industry trends: "Originally, dragon fruit was harvested once a year in Summer. Now modern growers are growing dragon fruit with additional lights. This makes that the crop can be harvested year-round. This has made it easier to extend the fruit's market share and also export the crop to foreign markets and retailers. My family used to grow dragon fruit, and I grew up with the fruit as a child. I know everything about the fruit, farming, planting, harvesting and export practices."

Song Nam ITD was one of the first companies to open up the international market for Vietnamese dragon fruit. According to Duan: "We started with the export of dragon fruit to countries like the US, Dubai, Australia and India. Currently, the US and India are our key export markets. In the beginning, India used to import a handful of containers each season. But with time we have steadily developed this market and now are the largest supplier of dragon fruit to India. China is a key market for Vietnamese dragon fruit. Before Covid, each day over a hundred containers from Vietnam were exported to China. There is growing domestic dragon fruit production in both India and China. But as this has to be done inside greenhouses, production costs are higher".

Dragon fruit orchards with and without artificial lighting. Artificial lighting makes year-round production possible.

"Our company is hoping to grow our own and Vietnam's overall fruit export business. Working with dragon fruit, our clients started to ask for other tropical fruits sourced from Vietnam. We now also source and export other fruits, like passion fruit. To the US we radiate the fruits before exports, to the European market we do not need certification, but we comply with all IRL testing requirements. In my opinion, fruits from Vietnam have opportunity on the European market. I visited different European wholesale markets in February and I saw little tropical fruits from Vietnam."

In addition to exporting dragon fruits and other tropical fruits from Vietnam, Song Nam ITD is looking to import fresh apples into Vietnam.

Sorting and packing at Song Nam ITD's packing house

Song Nam ITD's branded packaging

Harvested dragon fruit ready for sorting and packing

For more information:

Nguyen Quoc Duan, General Director
Song Nam ITD Co., Ltd.
Whatsapp: +84908861168
Wechat: ngqduan 

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